Jamie Who is a blog about everything. Except current affairs. And politics. Also science, sport, religion, celebrities, movies, media and marketing, technology, business and design. So...basically Jamie Who is a blog about food. All things food.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Wine of the week - Newton Johnson 2007 Chardonnay

I'm loving wines from the Hermanus/Hemel En Aarde Valley area lately, which is where this week's featured wine is produced. I've been nailing a lot of the Pinot Noir from the Newton Johnson farm but I recently stumbled across their 2007 Chardonnay. It's aged in Burgundy oak barrels, and smells like fruits stewing in vanilla and butter. In the mouth I found it to have more body than expected, with citrus flavours hanging around long after you've taken a sip. They come wafting in the same way you smell a beautiful women's perfume a few seconds after she has walked past. They are subtle but still worth a mention. 

I know winter is here but that doesn't mean we have to ONLY drink red wine. I like to match a wine like this with something spicy which provides the warmth. I had this with a phenomenal plate of chicken livers and chorizo at Wild Woods recently and it worked a treat. The creaminess of the livers matched the texture of the wine and the heat from the chilli was awesome with the citrus notes. It was pretty skoochie and if ever you're out there you would do well to order that. Trust me. If you're looking to knock something up at home a nice piece of grilled tuna with chilli and ginger could be good too. 

The wine goes for R115 and is available at most boutique stores. 

Jamie Who 

Friday, May 28, 2010

We Love Real Beer - welcome

Just a quick one peeps - it seems life is getting in the way of food and drink today...

You'll notice a new logo somewhere on this page. I've spoken before about my hesitancy to just throw any logo up, but here's one I believe in. My love affair with Jack Black started way back when I did this post about them. I explained how much I love the product, the brand, but more importantly the philosophy behind it. Micro-brewed by people with passion. The response I got from them was amazing and I took on a self-nominated "ambassador" approach, drinking it wherever I could and telling anyone who would listen that they should do the same. 

My love for &Union is also pretty well documented. As a restaurant, the concept is brilliant in its simplicity. They stock phenomenal beer and highly underrated food. Everything in that place is a celebration of all things artisan.

The evening I went to to launch of the We Love Real Beer campaign was when I got the idea of teaming up with these two awesome brands. And that's what we've done. Jack Black Beer. Brewers&Union. Jamie Who. I mean, come now. It makes sense. I'll be sharing any new products that hit &Union, any specials that they run, new pubs selling Jack Black on tap, giveaways, competitions etc. I'm here to share the love. The love of beer. Real beer. 

So join me in raising a glass. To the people who take raising a glass seriously. 

Cheers (not Charles) *ahem
Jamie Who

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tomato and basil bread

I love to take recipes and make them "my own". Add a little something here. More of this. Less of this. Cook it longer. Cook it slower. Substitute this for this. You get the picture. What I did with this recipe was read it out loud and do exactly what it said. I didn't change a thing. The flavour combinations seemed perfect for me and I didn't mess with it. It came from the Woolworths Taste Cookbook and it's a cracker. I knocked it up for breakfast on a recent trip to Wellington with Power, The Awesomes, Mama Kee and of course The Queen. I'm not sure if it was the stinging hangover (it definitely wasn't just them being polite) but they seemed to love it. I served it for breakfast with some silky, scrambled eggs but honestly it could work with pretty much anything. At pretty much any time of the day. It would also work if you used the mixture to make muffins. 

Stuff you need to feed 6:
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 120g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 free range eggs
  • Half a cup milk
  • 125g basil pesto
  • 165g parmesan, grated
What to do:

1. Preheat your oven to 140 degrees celsius. Halve the tomatoes, season with sea salt and black pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 2 hours. Remove and set aside. 

2. Increase the temperature to 180 degrees celsius. Combine flour and baking powder. In a bowl beat the eggs, then mix in the flour mixture. Add the milk and basil pesto and stir through. 

3. Fold half the roasted tomatoes into the mixture and stir in the parmesan. 

4. Grease a loaf pan and spoon in the mixture (or into muffin tins)

5. Bake for 50 minutes, or until cooked. To test, insert a skewer and pull it out. The bread is done if the skewer comes out cleanly. 

Like I said, I served mine with scrambled eggs. If you want to just throw it onto a chopping board and present it like that (and it will still look incredible) roast some extra tomatoes and use them as a garnish with some basil leaves. 

Jamie Who

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Whole wheat penne with pork sausage, blistered tomatoes and chilli

Sausages. Jeez I miss them. With the whole free-range thing it has honestly been one of the toughest things to give up. So you can imagine how stoked I was to stumble across Open Veld organic and free-range sausages recently. Created by Ian Bergh (trained chef), they are not made from sinewy off-cuts (like most sausages in this country) but rather good quality meat, sourced from ethical suppliers. This means they add no preservatives and cereals or bread in order to bulk them up. They also use less fat, which is an added bonus. (Look, they need to use some fat to add flavour - and help as a binding agent - but they are definitely healthier than most.) There are a couple of flavours but the one I keep coming back to is the pork, garlic and white wine variety. It's fantastic. My favourite way to cook them is to cut them open, take out the meat and use it in a pasta. Here's what I mean:

Stuff you'll need to feed 4:
  • 500g organic, whole wheat pasta of your choice (I prefer a short pasta with a chunky sauce like this, so go for something like penne, farfalle or fusilli)
  • A punnet of Open Veld pork sausage
  • 2 chillies, finely chopped
  • Half an onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • A handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • A handful of basil, torn 
  • Half a tin of tomatoes
  • Three handfuls of rosa tomatoes
Okay, what to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Place your rosa tomatoes in a baking dish, pour over some olive oil, season with sea salt and black pepper. Roast for about 35 minutes, or until blistered.  Remove and set aside. 

2. Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a pan and fry your onion until it softens. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for about 2 minutes more, making sure not to burn the garlic. 

3. Cut the sausage casing and remove meat. Add to the pan and fry until golden. 

4. Add the roasted tomatoes and the tinned tomatoes, reduce heat and gently simmer sauce until reduced to the desired consistency. 

5. Cook the pasta as per packet instructions. Drain, reserving a little bit of the cooking water. 

6. Add pasta sauce to pasta, along with cooking water. Throw in the chopped parsley and stir to combine. 

7. To serve, spoon into bowls and garnish with the basil. Shave over some pecorino cheese, if you really feel like a treat (and let's be honest...this dish deserves it.)

The great thing about this is the seasoning that is built into the sausages. It adds heaps of flavour for you so just keep that in mind and taste as you go. 

Jamie Who 

P.S. Look for Open Veld sausages at The Neighbourgoods market, The Foodbarn Deli (Noordhoek) and Melissa's. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Christophe's - I'm tipping it for big things

The last time I visited Stellenbosch I wrote about how disillusioned I was with all the franchise food stores. (Vida, Melissa's etc.) I eventually stumbled across Nook which restored a bit of faith in my belief that there were some good, rustic eateries in the town. A further visit revealed Cafe Dijon, which definitely raised the culinary stakes. But my most recent visit took things to another level, and I haven't enjoyed a restaurant as much in a long time. 

Christophe's is the latest venture for chef Christophe Dehosse, who previously worked at Au Jardin at The Vineyard Hotel. That was a few years back and in between now and then he founded and set up Joostenberg Bistro, which built up a great reputation as home of all things pig. He has now moved on and left that in the hands of his wife Susan. His new place is a bit more serious but remains unpretentious, with the decor being a mixture of soft, pastel walls and a collection of varied artwork (for sale.) White linen tables and imported cutlery let you know you are in the hands of someone who cares, as does the highly-professional and well-informed waiter/manager. 

The menu is reassuringly short (indicating a chef who focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients) and lists five starters, five mains and a handful of desserts. The wine list was also a great collection and listed quite a few nearby, boutique farms. There was - understandably - a strong Joostenberg presence.  

I tried "pan-fried quail salad" to start, which was served as quail with a side salad. A simple dressing of blanched, cubed and deseeded tomatoes and chives brought the dish together with the help of some sauteed porcini mushrooms. The Queen's starter of a cape salmon tartare was one of the finest starters I can remember having. Anywhere. I have never seen this fish served as a tartare but the texture worked amazingly well and I am surprised more chefs aren't trying it. (Upon reflection, I think it worked even better than Bizerca Bistro's yellowtail version, which I have enjoyed often.) Just the right amount of acidity came through from a fantastic dressing, and it was cleverly garnished with onion sprouts that added flavour, not just "prettiness" to the dish. Mains were a bouillabaisse for me (rich, deep flavours with prawns, a beautiful plump scallop, calamari and both cape salmon and Kabeljou) and a pan-fried Kobeljou, served on lentils with a mustard dressing, for The Queen. (Both dishes worked outstandingly with a bottle of Miles Mossop Saskia by the way...if you feel like a treat.) Desserts presented the only stumbling block in the form of a gooseberry creme brulee, which was far too sweet and over-caramelised i.e. burnt. That said, the chocolate fondant was sublime. Moist. Rich. Gooey. Decadent. Brilliant. 

If ever you are in Stellenbosh (and in fact even if you're not) make a plan to find time to eat here. It's a great find. Find it at 44 Ryneveld Street, or call them on (021) 886-8763 . 

Jamie Who 

P.S. Special mention must be made of the crockery, which I absolutely loved. They are quirky, vintage pieces and they make eating such high-end food seem totally unpretentious. A very clever touch. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Wine of the Week - AA Badenhorst Secatuers Red Blend 2007

I feel a bit sorry for Mondays. Honestly, I have never met a single person who likes them. And this is especially true for foodies. Obviously Mondays can't compete with the popular Fridays and Saturdays, where the majority of people are doing their wining and dining. Sundays are often the time for family roasts or simple evening braai's in the summer. Wednesdays are the "mini-Fridays" and often see people magnetically drawn to a pub on the way home. Thursdays? Well, they're almost Friday so why not indulge in the now famous Phuza Thursday movement? Hell, even Tuesdays are popular now that people can go to the movies and save some money (ignore the fact that this money saved is then spent eating extra sushi when the movie is done.) But Mondays, well...they've got very little going for them. Until now. 

Say hello to the wine of the week. Sure, it's not exactly a new concept but I've decided to throw it up on a Monday to at least - at LEAST - get people stoked about a new wine. I mean come on people, let's give Mondays something to stand for. 

Wine of the week on this blog is going to be a super-informal recommendation of a wine that I'm enjoying. I'm not going to get technical about it (mainly because I don't know enough about wine to do that), but instead just tell you what I'm drinking. And why I like it. That simple. 

We kick off with The Secateurs Red Blend 2007, from AA Badenhorst Family Wines. The farm is in the Paardeberg area, between Wellington and Malmesbury. Upon opening the wine (a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Merlot, Carignan, Cinsaut and Grenache) I was struck by the smoky, spicy notes. A touch of sweetness came though from the fruits and the whole thing smelt like a campfire. A gorgeous mix of burnt wood and cooking marshmallows. I expected it to be heavy on my tongue but it was surprisingly thin, which was not necessarily bad. With such bold flavours a heavier consistency could've felt a bit clumsy. It reminded me a lot of the Hedonist blend (another favourite of mine) which, not surprisingly, comes from the same area and also uses highly underrated bush-vine varieties for intense flavour. 

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would've loved to cook something like a chorizo, chilli and butter-bean soup with this. That said, when I first opened it I also just wanted to knock up a bacon and peanut butter (crunchy...obviously) sandwich. It didn't last long enough with my thirsty guests for me to either.

Jamie Who

P.S. The wine retails from boutiques for about R67 a bottle.  

P.P.S. If any of the more knowledgeable wine guys/girls - and there are plenty more knowledgeable than me - are reading this please feel free to comment and give opinions. Also, if there are any wines out there that are blowing your minds drop me an e-mail at jamiewhoblog@gmail.com so I can check them out. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Free-range Fridays at Catharina's

You would've noticed my not-so-subtle "preachings" about free-range meat lately. It's a lifestyle choice I've made and it has been tough. No more Wimpy burgers on road-trips. No more bacon thrown liberally onto pasta and pizza. No more boerewors rolls on the side of rugby fields. No more Nando's when you're hammered or hungover. I've had to sacrifice certain dishes I used to love at restaurants and choose vegetarian options instead. Shopping at markets instead of grocery stores has taken on a whole new level of importance for me. Basically, free-range meat is a big deal. It's a huge deal. So when I heard of Catharina's Free-range Fridays concept, it was something I absolutely had to check out. 

I was invited to a lunch to showcase the type of dishes the restaurant will be featuring on the menu, where chef Garth Almazan (surely one of the most underrated in Cape Town) talked a group of us through the philosophy. Not surprisingly, it all starts with the supplier and Garth explained the care that goes into sourcing the finest animals from the best farms. From there, Garth has borrowed from the "nose to tail" eating trend which, as the name suggests, focuses on using every part of the animal (or as much as possible). This brings me to my next point: offal. Offal has never really been given a chance here in South Africa, mainly because I feel people have no relationship with the animals they eat as meat. So the idea of eating livers, kidneys, sweetbreads etc. makes the average person squeamish. I guarantee that if people ate it in a blind-tasting they would love it. 

Anyway, onto the lunch. We enjoyed roasted bone marrow with a quinoa stuffing. Braised beef tripe with pan-fried sweetbreads and a bean ragout. Pan-fried calves liver with oxtail rillette. Pork belly with trotter spring rolls. All paired with gorgeous wine. Think Herold Pinot Noir, Steenberg Nebbiolo, Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal (all from 07). The most unusual - and my favourite - was the Jordan Riesling teamed up with the pork belly. Cathy Marston (wine guru over at food24.com) was there and her explanations of the wine were fascinating. For example, I had never noticed the strong minty/Eucalyptus character of Steenberg wines which she pointed out. Watch out for it next time you have the chance. 

The food was sensational. Honestly, some of the richest, deepest dishes I have enjoyed for a long time. The rain outside made it a perfect day to get stuck into such earthy flavours and the afternoon flew by. Bianca Coleman made an excellent drinking partner and I was quite bummed when I checked my watch and realised I had to get out of there. Next time - and there will definitely be a next time - I will make sure I stay longer, drink more and then roll down the road to my parents' house. (Yip, they have a place there - very convenient.) I'll probably wake up, go for a trail run on the Silvermine Reserve and enjoy brunch at Bistro Sixteen82. Because that's how we do it in Cape Town. 

To find out more about the Free-range Friday movement, give Catharina's a call on (021) 713-2222. Do your bit. Do your bit and enjoy an unbelievable meal. 

Jamie Who

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shiny Happy People by Neil Roake

Reviewing cookbooks is tough for me. Not because I can't find any decent ones. More because I find so many. Being a food nerd, my house is busting with them. Old. New. Beautiful. Stylish. Rustic. Hand-me-downs. And then there's the magazines. Honestly, it all gets a bit much. I'm running out of space. And when I stumbled across Shiny Happy People, by Neil Roake, I couldn't help myself. I had seen the book before, admired it and said "no" many times. I had been firm. I said it out loud. But like a moth to a flame (or more like Tiger to a cocktail waitress) I was eventually drawn in and my resistance broke. I caved. Let me tell you why...

The book is a shrine to the two most important things in Neil's life: food and friends. I can relate and wholeheartedly believe that the best way to enjoy these two things is with each other. The book introduces you to Neil's like-minded foodie friends and showcases their various signature dishes. The recipes are not too advanced for the average cook, but are still impressive enough to serve to anyone who appreciates food. There is a wide range of ingredients ranging from cheap and cheerful to lavish. Perhaps this is best illustrated by two pasta dishes, sitting happily alongside each other. One is ruote with boerewors, the other is spaghetti with crayfish. The styling and photography of the book is beautiful and captures the overriding food philosophy perfectly. It's awesome. 

Honestly, if (and when) the time comes when I have to start making space and donating books to charity I'm afraid they won't be getting this one. This is staying put and is definitely one of my favourites. If you're anything like me you would do well to stay away. Or else it'll get you. Seriously, it's coming.

Jamie Who

Monday, May 17, 2010

The 2010 Eat In Awards lunch

Do you know who George Jardine is? How about Bruce Robertson? Luke Dale-Roberts? If you're a foodie then you probably do. But what about Wayne Rademeyer? Do you know him? And Swepie le Roux? Sound familiar? I thought not. 

The first few names above are celebrated chefs within the South African food scene. The last few are two winners of the recent 2010 Eat In Awards which I attended a few weeks ago. The fact that the average South African has absolutely no idea who the real food heroes in this country are (they're the ones putting in hours of unrecognised work to provide amazing produce) was the backbone for Eat In magazine and its creation. The publication aims to showcase the best suppliers, bakeries, butcheries, markets, farmstalls, cooking schools and delis we have to offer, and awards prizes for the best in a variety of categories. This year they hosted a lunch to hand out the awards and it was an honour to share a room with the eventual winners. Men and women whom I respect enormously. 

The lunch itself was a laid-back affair and took place in The Food Corp premises, which is on the seventh floor of the central building in Black River Park. It's a funky venue and one to remember for anyone looking for something a bit different. Food was provided by A Sense of Taste, with a few of the ingredients being provided by the producers. Wine was provided by Waverley Hills (winner in the organic category) and unlike most organic wines I had no problem drinking it. A lot of it. I was seated next to the gorgeous hostess Justine Drake who seemed to be playing her usual game of "making Jamie Who blush as much as possible", which she seems to love. She's also very good at it. The wine was my coping mechanism and worked fairly well. Maybe too well, as I did later find myself pouring a glass of wine at home with the cork still in. 

I was seated across the table from Pete Goffe-Wood and Abigail Donnelly and it was awesome to talk about all things food for hours. I also sat next to the guys from La Petite France who won an award for their brie. (You can get this from the Neighbourgoods Market so look out for it.) We enjoyed fat wedges of it with various preserves and, of course, the Waverley wine. I've also found their camembert at the market so try get your hands on that too. 

The list of winners can be found on the Eat In website. Buy the magazine, have a look at the smaller, independent producers and do your best to support them. They're the guys making food with love and passion. 

Jamie Who

The Neighbourgoods Market antipasti platter

I was at The Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock on Saturday when I got the call from Mr Awesome looking for a place to watch rugby later that day. Coming off a long week of eating, drinking, cooking and reviewing I was pretty tired and wasn't really feeling the pub vibe so I suggested my house. I wasn't in the mood to cook so I threw together a little antipasti platter, with tasty things I found at the market. All I had to do was sautee the wild mushrooms I found, mix some mashed avocado into the hummus I bought and make sure it all looked good. Obviously what you buy is up to you, but a good place to start is with the following:
  • A tub of hummus, with an avocado to mix in.
  • A jar of olives (I bought some marinated in chilli) 
  • A jar of pesto
  • Cheese (I got a phenomenal brie and camembert)
  • A bag of mixed wild mushrooms
  • Chorizo and Merguez sausage
  • Smoked trout fillets
  • A few figs
  • A handful of mixed nuts
  • 300g of free-range, Namibian biltong 
  • A loaf of ciabatta and a loaf of sourdough
Okay, so all you need to do is sautee you mushrooms in some thyme, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Mix a mashed avocado into your hummus and cut your figs into quarters. Throw some nuts over the figs and drizzle with the best honey you have. Make sure you have plenty of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for the bread and hot english mustard for the sausage. 

A platter like this is a brilliant way to entertain when you don't feel like cooking. It's also a cool way to eat with everyone getting their hands dirty and experimenting with different flavour combinations. Nice. For me, the sausage and hot mustard washed down with some Berne from &Union was a winner. (Yip, you buy your Jack Black and &Union beer at the market too.) Pretty skoochie. 

Jamie Who

Friday, May 14, 2010

Interview with Marthinus Ferreira - The dude behind DW Eleven-13

I was up in the smoke (Jozi) recently for work and was asked by the Eat Out team to interview the talented Marthinus Ferreira. Instead of the usual Q&A session we opened a bottle of wine and just started talking food. He's a cool guy with big plans and big goals. The interview went out with the Eat Out newsletter recently. For those of you that missed it, check it out here

I ate at at his spot, DW Eleven-13, the night before and loved it. Simple produce, where the main ingredient is the hero. As it should be. You should check it out. Call them on (011) 341-0663 or visit their site: 

Jamie Who

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Five Flies - Fall from grace

When I first moved to Cape Town the Stormers rugby team had just started playing in black and Five Flies was was one the best restaurants in the country. 10 years on and a lot has changed. For the Stormers, they are now wearing a solid blue jersey and for Five Flies...well...it must rank as one of the city's great disappointments. 

Eating there last night was one of the most impersonal experiences I have had in ages. The space itself is beautiful (an old building carefully restored with black and white tiles, an outside courtyard and beautiful exposed wooden beams). I hardly had time to notice though as I was ushered inside and hurried to my seat. The first thing that struck me was the number of tables. And the number of people. In the first 30 minutes I was there I saw two separate tables being turned over for new diners and the whole thing was starting to feel like a bit of a procession. The menu itself was a paradox of expensive food being listed on a plastic, laminated menu. The wine list is separated into price categories rather than grape varieties or regions, and it too (unlike the wine it lists) was cheap in nature. 

I asked the waitress if the meat was free-range to which I received an honest answer of "What does that mean?". Fair enough. I won't be having the sirloin then. Instead I tried mussels to start. They arrived less than a minute later with a suspiciously hot plate and suspiciously cold mussels. Perhaps microwaved. Perhaps frozen mussels. Perhaps both. They were rubbery and tasteless and I left most of them. Another starter of grilled field mushrooms with gorgonzola and caramelised onions was better but still smacked of "amateur-hour". My linefish (cape salmon) was presented skin-side up but the skin in question had not been scored, nor crisped. A grey, soggy piece of fish is not great for presentation. It came on "herbed linguini", which turned out to be linguini with store-bought pesto. I ate about half. Desserts got no better. In fact they got worse. The Queen had her standard creme brulee (she's become a bit of an expert). Tragic. The custard had curdled and it was inedible. My malva pudding was hardly better and had either been baked in bulk sometime in January, or bought. Sometime in February. The sponge was dry and the ice-cream it was served with was rock-hard. 

I should mention that all starters are priced the same, all mains are priced the same and all desserts are priced the same at Five Flies. For example, any main costs R125. There is another list for more advanced food, with surcharges. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during winter they run a special where three courses is R150. Compared to the normal menu, that's great value. Compared to almost anywhere else it is not. For example, Jardine is running a special where they too charge R150 for three courses. No prizes for guessing where I would rather eat. 

Five Flies. Home of chipped, cheap glassware and knives with plastic handles. Where the policy of "bums on seats" is paired with "get them in and out quickly". I have heard a rumour that 60% of their trade is provided by a deal they struck up with Thompsons Tours. I'm not sure about the accuracy of that but it would help explain their fall from greatness to mediocrity. And the fact that they seem quite content in that role. 

Jamie Who

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Creamy oats with spiced fruit compote

Winter is here. I think it's official. I tried hanging on for as long as possible but every day 5 o'clock rolls around and I'm thinking about stews, soups and slow-roasts. It's here guys, deal with it. Down in Cape Town this means the sky starts leaking rain and the temperature never gets above 15 degrees. It's grey every day and the leaves on the trees are gone. It can be depressing. But you know what? It doesn't have to be. I knocked up a hearty breakfast this morning that The Queen described as "smelling like Christmas". I loved that. It proved again that food - and cooking generally - can have a big impact on our moods. If I had poured a bowl of cereal and milk I would probably still be miserable. Instead, this recipe has left me feeling ready for a big day. I adapted it from Gordon Ramsay's book Healthy Appetite, which I love. The book proves that healthy cooking doesn't have to be boring cooking and this principle is fundamental to what I aim for with most of my recipes. 

Stuff you'll need to feed 4:

For the compote:
  • 500g mixed, dried fruit. Use your favourite. I went for apricots, pears, apples and prunes.
  • A cup of water
  • Juice of two oranges
  • Zest of two oranges
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 2-3 cardamon seeds
  • Half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 2-3 whole cloves
  • A teaspoon of vanilla paste
For the oats:
  • 2 cups raw oats
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups water
  • A pinch of salt
Okay, what to do:

For the compote:

1. Place all the ingredients except half the orange zest in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer with the lid on for about 10 minutes. You want the fruit to become plump by soaking up the liquid. If it becomes too dry too quickly just add more water. 

2. Strain through a fine sieve to separate whole spices and return fruit to liquid. Keep warm. 

For the oats:

1. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce and cook until done to the consistency you like. (I like to cook my oats until they creamy so I will add more milk/water as I go) You can also cook it in a microwave but I like the control of temperature I get with a stove. 

To serve, divide oats into bowls and spoon compote over the top. Garnish with remaining orange zest. 

There you have it peeps. A healthy breakfast big in fiber and anti-oxidants, with slow-releasing energy. It'll keep you going all day and it's super-easy to make. Just get up 10 minutes earlier. Stop your whining. You'll thank me later. 

Jamie Who

P.S. For a Saturday/Sunday brunch I reckon a shot of whiskey would be awesome in this recipe. No kidding. If that doesn't warm you up, nothing will. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Welcome "Unity", the newest addition to the &Union family

I read an awesome article in Monocle magazine a few months ago about Puma and part of their their branding strategy being to "own" African football. With Nike concentrating on technology and Adidas concentrating on performance gear, Puma decided African football was a great place to showcase the brand's unique flair and desire to push the envelope. One of the ways they chose to do this was to sponsor 12 African teams, including powerhouses Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Ghana. Another aspect was their Africa Unity campaign, which involved teaming up with artist Kehinde Wiley as well as a partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme. The campaign is typified by the creation of a special kit that African teams playing in the world cup will have the choice of wearing as their away strip (for those that don't know, each team has a second jersey that they wear when playing a team with similar colours). The kit is inspired by the African landscape and uses a transition of brown to blue as a metaphor for our continent's soil and sky. The numbers and the badge are in yellow to signify the sun. The badge itself depicts two hands shaking. When I read about the idea I was immediately interested. When I heard a further part of the campaign was a collaboration with the &Union team I was even more interested. Last night I went to the press launch to learn a bit more.

While the campaign is a brilliant concept, I was most intrigued to see how and why two brands with no obvious connection would fit together. The cynic in me asked the question "how on earth did the Puma guys get the idea approved at top-level?" A sportswear brand teaming up with a brewing company didn't quite make sense. After listening to an explanation from Puma's Marketing Director, Brett Bellinger, it became clear. Pretty much anything is possible with like-minded people driving an idea. The key to success was a total commitment to uncompromising quality and the end result is a limited edition beer that carries all the qualities you'd expect from Collective Sao Gabriel, Brewers&Union and indeed Puma. How does it taste? Like summer in a bottle. Quite light, with strong florals and honey on the nose and a crisp green apple aftertaste. It would be ridiculously good with smoked duck and fig, but would work just as well with prawns straight off the braai.  

Wednesday sees the official launch. You would do well to get there. Lindiwe Suttle will be singing with a few of her friends and the vibe should be awesome. I might even have a word with The Big Guy to make sure the weather plays its part.

Jamie Who

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Good Food & Wine Show ticket winners

A big thanks to everyone who entered the comp for The Good Food & Wine Show. I must say it's awesome to see how many foodies there are out there. I got people writing in with some interesting explanations as to why they deserved the tickets. Tactics ranged from flattery to passion to excitement to threats! I wish I had tickets for everyone but in the end these are the people I picked. Congrats and stay posted to find out where and how you get your hands on the tickets.

1. Hila Jonker
2. Georg van Rensburg
3. Nina Timm
4. Polly Howard
5. Tammyn Gregory

There it is guys. I am so bummed I don't have more. Keep eating and keep drinking.

Jamie Who

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"The Pig" by Neil Jewell

"This blood is so fresh when it arrived a few hours ago it was still warm." Neil Jewell's opening line at his presentation at The Chef's Warehouse last night. Quite an icebreaker. I was there to do his class, simply titled The Pig, and had been looking forward to it for weeks. As a big fan of Bread & Wine, and as an admirer of Liam Tomlin and his new operation, I had high expectations. The four hours that I spent listening to Neil last night surpassed all of them. It was absolutely awesome. 

The thing is, you never really know what to expect at these classes. Some are very technical and you end up not really enjoying yourself. Others are really just an excuse to eat and drink and you leave having not really learnt anything (except maybe how to hide a bottle of wine under your jacket but we don't talk about that anymore...) What I loved about last night was that is was a combination of both. 

We watched Neil effortlessly de-joint and butcher a carcass. We watched him make black pudding. We watched him wipe drops of blood from his forehead. We watched him knock up beautiful salami and phenomenal crackling. We learnt how to cure meat and how to make sausages. And we ate. A lot. The quality of food was exceptional and because I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to be sitting at the same table as the boys from Caveau the wine flowed easily. South Hill Sauvignon Blanc 08. Beautiful. 

The thing that had the most impact on me was when Neil brought out a gorgeous cured leg of ham for us to taste. He called the pig the meat came had come from "one of his girls." He always referred to "her" and not "it." He obviously loved that animal and that love translated into the taste of the meat. We can all learn from that. 

For info on other classes check out www.chefswarehouse.co.za. Neil has set the bar pretty high but with some of the other guests they have lined up you should seriously think about booking.

Jamie Who

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Baked prawn, calamari and mussel linguini

The cool thing about this recipe is that you can cheat. You can cheat as much as you want. For example, on Sunday I was nursing a fairly severe hangover so I bought already cooked prawns. Normally that's a bit of a cop-out for me but at that stage I honestly didn't care. You could buy frozen prawns that have already been peeled, or you could buy the real deal, cook them properly and de-shell them yourself. How much effort you go to with the mussels is up to you too. If you want to put on boots and scrape them off the rocks in Simon's Town by all means, go ahead. They will taste sensational. Because of the already-mentioned hangover I just bought some from Woolies. (Yip, you can do that now). They were green-lipped beauties from New Zealand and because this recipe calls for steaming them they were done in 5 minutes. 

Stuff you'll need to feed 2:
  • 2 x 150g calamari steaks
  • 400g of mussels
  • 400g of cooked prawns (if you buy raw ones, pan fry them until they are pink)
  • 250g of whole wheat linguini, spaghetti or other long pasta
  • A punnet of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped 
  • A handful of parsley, roughly chopped plus extra to garnish
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • Tin foil
  • A few shavings of pecorino
Okay, what to do:

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. When ready, place your cherry tomatoes in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Roast for 4o minutes, shaking every now and then. 

2. In a very hot pan, fry your calamari in the chilli and garlic for 2 minutes per side. NO MORE. Remove and set aside. When cool, cut into strips. 

3. Cook the pasta as per packet instructions. Drain, reserving about half a cup of the cooking water. 

4. In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, the pasta, the prawns, the calamari and the mussels. Add some of the water from the pasta. Throw in the parsley. 

5. Tear two thick pieces of tinfoil and lay them on a work surface. Carefully spoon half of the pasta and seafood mixture into the middle of the foil and using another piece fold in to create a "parcel". Before closing, divide the lemon wedges and throw them in. Close the parcel, making sure it is airtight. Repeat so that you have two pillowcase-looking foil parcels. 

6. Place them in the oven and cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove and carefully peel back some foil to see if the mussels have opened. Return to oven if necessary but be careful not to overcook the seafood. Really, you just want the mussels to open and the flavours to all infuse a bit. 

7. To serve, place parcels in a deep bowl, slash open the foil, add the pecorino, pour in some olive oil and extra parsley and eat. Glory. 

The thing here is not to be scared of the mussels. With all the moisture in the parcels they should open up pretty quickly. BE SURE TO CHUCK OUT ANY THAT DO NOT OPEN!!!! If you try and eat them chances are you will end up in hospital with seafood poisoning. That will really ruin the vibe. 

A nice touch would be to add a splash of wine into the parcel before cooking but my hangover wouldn't allow me to smell wine, let alone eat or drink it. 

Jamie Who

P.S. You can also serve this by carefully sliding the pasta into a deep bowl once cooked. It's not as dramatic but it does look a bit more elegant. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Good Food & Wine Show - 13th to 16th May

Gordon Ramsay. He's a clever bastard. The last few years have seen him leapfrog several others to become arguably the most internationally renowned celebrity chef in the world. (Along with that other guy called Jamie I guess). He has done this not only by being a great cook but by being a great businessman. He obviously knows how to market himself and no less than FOUR of his shows are currently on BBC Food (The F-Word, the Cookalong thing, Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen.) That's pretty incredible. We know he is hard-core and digs a swear word or ten but he is seriously bright too. He is a brand and a very good one. 

So you can imagine it was quite a coup when The Good Food & Wine Show (which is being held at Cape Town's International Convention Centre from the 13th to the 16th of May) announced Mr Ramsay would be headlining the event. He has some pretty awesome support too with a few chefs from BBC Lifestyle conducting cooking workshops. Most notable for me is Giorgio Locatelli - I love that guy. There are loaaaaads of cool things including a chef's action theatre, timed "cook-offs", beer academies, a cookbook library, brandy tastings, an appearance by The Stellenbosch Slow Food Market, a Garden Party by Top Billing and more. To see it all check out www.gourmetsa.com

The organisers are expecting 55 000 visitors over the three days. Let's be honest, that's a shitload. The good news is that you could be one of them. I've got 5 double tickets to give away. All I want you to do is to e-mail me and tell me why you deserve them. It's that easy. Tell me about your passion for food. Tell me about your love of wine. Send me photos of your boobs. I don't care. Just convince me somehow. 

For those that don't win, entry is R80 each. For any additional info check out the website I mentioned earlier. 

Jamie Who